Week 34 – Biblical Purposes for Being Filled with the Holy Spirit
In our postmodern world, the power and evidence of the Spirit is invaluable in drawing lost people past their universalistic frame of mind and into the undeniable fact that there is only one true and almighty God.
It is never enough to be filled with the Holy Spirit once in a lifetime. We need to be continuously filled with the Spirit, as His power ministers to our own souls and through us to the world. In our postmodern world, the power and evidence of the Spirit brings conviction and regenerates people’s hearts confronting them with the truth of the Word of God and the reality that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the only, true and almighty God.
Why must we be filled with the Holy Spirit?
Power to Witness and Minister (Acts 1:8)
The Greek word for power is “dunamis”, from which we derive the word “dynamite.” The Holy Spirit empowers us to bring deliverance to the lost people of the world.
Purity (Matthew 3:11)
The Holy Spirit continuously burns out the “chaff” (lust, jealousy, greed, etc.) in our lives and makes us pure and holy like Jesus.
Boldness to Proclaim the Gospel (Acts 4:29-31)
Before the days of Pentecost, the disciples were timid, hesitating, and doubting. After the Pentecost encounter with the Spirit, these same men were fearless to do the mighty works of the Lord.
Fellowship of God (John 14:14-18; 1 John 2:20, 27)
The Holy Spirit is the “Helper” or “the One called alongside to help.” God promised that He would always be with us and never leave nor forsake us. The Holy Spirit brings us into a deeper love relationship with the Father and helps us experience God’s presence.
Truth (John 16:13: 1 Corinthians 2:9-12)
The Holy Spirit leads us into a fresh understanding of the Word of God. We can only understand the things of God and His Word by the Spirit of God. The same Spirit who inspired the Scriptures fills us to know and understand them.
Authority to Cast Out Demons (Matthew 12:28; Mark 16:15-18; Romans 8:26-27)
When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we have the Christ-derived authority to cast out demons (Mark 16:17). Just as Jesus proclaimed His authority to grant freedom from demonic forces, we too are granted this authority through the Holy Spirit.
Worship (John 4:24)
The Holy Spirit enables us to worship God in spirit and in truth, to experience a dynamic encounter instead of a religious formality.
Ability to Operate in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:1-10)
The baptism (or filling) in the Holy Spirit enables us to operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which display the power of God.
How to Be Filled with the Holy Spirit
It is not enough to know about the Holy Spirit objectively. God’s desire is for us to open up our hearts and receive the Holy Spirit personally. There are at least three primary ways to be filled with the Spirit:
Ask (Luke 11:13)
You have not because you ask not (James 4:2)! After we have repented of our sins, we become open vessels into which God can pour His Spirit. Have faith that you will receive and according to God’s Word, you will (Mark 11:23-25)!
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him? (Luke 11:13)
Worship (Psalm 100:4)
When approaching the Lord, it is always fitting to start with worship: “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise” (Psalm 100:4). As we worship God we are opening our spirits to God pouring His Spirit upon us. The apostle Paul concurs:
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father… (Ephesians 5:18-10)
Through the Laying on of Hands (Acts 8:17, 9:17-18, 19:6)
Two examples from the book of Acts of disciples receiving the filling of Holy Spirit:
- Directly by the Lord, as they did at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4)
- Through the laying on of hands by other Spirit-empowered believers (Acts 8:14-17, 9:6, 17)
Although I know people who have been filled with the Spirit directly from the Lord, the more common experience is that we receive this blessing through the laying on of hands. Basically, someone who has not been filled with the Spirit asks someone to lay hands on them and pray that they would be filled with the Spirit. Sometimes the Spirit will bring blessings and signs such as those in Acts 19:6 and Acts 8:17. The laying on of hands is the primary way God has chosen for this grace to be imparted.
- Is being filled with the Holy Spirit a once in a lifetime experience?
- What is the most persuasive argument for the need to be filled with the Holy Spirit?
- How does one become filled with the Holy Spirit? How is this grace imparted?